Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:16 pm 
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Capsule review

Ariela (the disarmingly open Naian González Norvind, who co-scripted), is a 25-year-old Mexico City muralist from an observant, upper middle class Jewish family who falls in love (secretly, but not for long) with Iván (Christian Vazquez) an attractive, artistic non-Jewish man with whom she feels a lot in common. Her community is not amused. This film treats in specific detail a subject the outside world doesn't hear about. The 26-year-old director knows whereof he speaks, and the inbred M.C. Jewish community reportedly has not reacted favorably to this film. These people are very well off. Why must their society be so closed? Because, we're told, they came here 100 years ago, refugees from Syria, with nothing, and built it all up by rigid cooperation. In ghettos and shtetls, Jews were once inbred by necessity. Here and now they are so by choice. Assimilation into the goy world by a young woman isn't tolerated by this society, whose marriage and family rules seem more 19th than 21st century. Ariela must be a leona, a lioness: but she may not be up to it. A quiet shocker that mixes romance and ethnography.

Leona, 95 mins., debuted Oct. 2018 at Morelia (Michoacán, México) and has played at 16 Jewish Film Festivals plus the SFJFF, where it was screened for this capsule review.
SFJFF showtimes:
Sunday, July 21 8:45 pm CineArts
Wed. July 24 4:15 pm Castro
Sat. Aug 3, 6:35 pm Piedmont Theater
Sun., Aug 4 8:45 pm Smith Rafael

Best review I've seen is in Spanish by Alejandro Jiménez onLetterboxd.

©Chris Knipp. Blog:

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